Chatting with this friend after so many years felt like old times. I've known her since I was 10 years old, and we grew up together swimming every morning and everyday after school. Our coffee date was a good opportunity to give her all the background info on my diagnosis, but also for me to hear about her own major health event. I was reminded that no matter how far I've come, there are some parts of me that only certain people can understand.
Last week, I attended a gala with my 'cancer friend'. I met this friend in the lymphoma clinic at Princess Margaret Hospital, and since going through treatment simultaneously, she's been the person who understands exactly how a diagnosis feels. Just like my meeting with my old swimming friend, catching up with my cancer friend (and making news ones!) reminded me how important it is to keep in touch with people who understand you in a way nobody else does.
My cancer friend might not be an 'old' friend, but our friendship serves me the same way those long-term friendships do. At the gala last Saturday, breaking it down on the dancefloor with a group of women cancer survivors, it felt like we had known each other for decades.
That kind of supportive, understanding relationship is hard to come by, and should not be taken for granted!